Date sugar is a sweetener derived from the fruit date. It's an unprocessed natural sugar that is not like the more commercialized pure cane or beet sugar derivatives. Date sugar is made up of 100% dried chopped dates. It's very sweet and some say when cooking, it's sweeter then Turbinado, Brown and granulated sugars.
Date sugar has seen a huge popularity increase (see chart below) due to the new healthy lifestyles people are seeking and living. Raw and Paleo enthusiast love date sugar as a sweetener due to its unprocessed form. Regular granulated sugar and even brown sugar goes through a huge process to get it to its usable state. Some believe that over-processing devalues essential nutrients and breaks down the natural flavor of food. This could be the case even with sugar. Date sugar has been identified as a healthier alternative to processed sugar.
The most common use of date sugar is baking. The feedback is generally a 1/1 ratio when working with recipes that call for granulated or brown sugar, but from our experience a 2/3 ratio will be best suited. We also hear from many of customers the 2/3 rule is a good starting point. From there you can experiment with it and see where it fits in with your taste buds. When cooked, date sugar has a nice brown flake coloring that can enhance many dishes.
A big disadvantage that date sugar has vs. its counterparts is its ability to dissolve into liquids or melt when cooked. When added to liquids it will just rise and float at the top. When trying to melt, date sugar it will burn and turn black. We have heard that you can use a mortar and pestle to crush the date sugar even further to a fine powder. This powder will not fully dissolve, but has been able to sweeten liquids with no trace of date particles. Another complaint is that date sugar has a tendency to clump. Clumping happens due to improper storage. It is recommended to store date sugar in a airtight container, at room temperature with low humidity.
In addition to baking, date sugar can be used as a topping for yogurt, oatmeal, whole-wheat cereals and fresh fruit. It's also a main ingredient in many of the date shakes that are served at date farms. I enjoy date sugar by sweetening up a homemade salsa or on top of muffins. It really does add a subtle sweetness that granulated or brown sugar can't match.
From a price standpoint, date sugar is typically more expensive then granulated. Mass manufacturing of date sugar does not exist at the scale to make it a value option vs. regular cane or beet sugar. You will be lucky to find date sugar in a specialty shop, health food store or at a farmers market...all good places to look. Also, date sugar is popular in the Amish community, so you might want to give the local stores a try if you're in nearby Amish country. Of course, you can always purchase date sugar here at Whole Fresh Dates. We offer both organic date sugar and regular date sugar for your convenience and at a competitive price.